updated 03:31 pm EST, Fri December 20, 2013
Siri engineering head now at Samsung for wearables
Samsung will release a follow-up to its ill-received Galaxy Gear smartwatch, one that will expand the company's nascent line of wearable devices instead of replacing the Gear. The new device, according to Digital Daily, would be dubbed the Galaxy Band, and it would have a notably different focus than the Gear. Leading the development of this new device would be Luc Julia, a former software engineer for Apple's Siri, who jumped ship to Samsung earlier this year.
Former Apple engineer Lug Julia now works on the Samsung Architecture for Multimodal Interactions, a framework upon which any number of interconnected devices can interact, including tablets, smartphones, smartwatches, and more. Among those devices is said to be the Galaxy Band, a fitness-oriented device built by Samsung that incorporates a low-power motion sensor like that seen with the M7 in Apple's iPhone 5s.
The Galaxy Band is said to be an armband-type of wearable device, packing motion sensors, pressure, humidity, temperature, and more. It would also provide route guidance for runners, and it could also do things such as measure a user's heart rate, orientation, skin temperature, and so forth.
Julia's work on the SAMI project would be aimed at standardizing the assorted types of information being fed into the system from an array of third-party apps and devices.
Samsung may be eager to move beyond the flawed launch of the Galaxy Gear. Despite no end of hype before the device debuted, the Samsung smartwatch met with almost universally poor reviews, with the tech media panning its bulky shape and underwhelming functionality.
The newest reports give no indication of when the Galaxy Band might be revealed, but it could make an appearance, according to some reports, as early as January's CES or February's Mobile World Conference.